Ukraine's Anti-Graft Agency Accused of Concealing Military Fraud

Kateryna Choursina
Ukraine's Anti-Graft Agency Accused of Concealing Military Fraud

(Bloomberg) -- A Ukrainian anti-graft agency set up at the behest of Western donors was accused of hiding embezzlement in the army carried out by an ally of President Petro Poroshenko.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau, known as NABU, removed the name of a company from a 2016 list of suspicious entities involved in military procurement, journalists from the investigative Nashi Hroshi program reported late Monday.

Other law-enforcement bodies -- including prosecutors, the State Security Service and the State Fiscal Service -- also failed to follow up on suspicions regarding the company’s activities, the program alleged.

Poroshenko, who’s struggling in opinion polls before a re-election bid this month, fired Oleh Hladkovskyi as deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council last week after earlier installments of the TV program accused him of involvement in the scheme.

NABU, considered one of the few law-enforcement agencies in Ukraine that hasn’t suffered from corruption, is conducting an investigation, according to its head, Artem Sytnyk. He said the TV journalists were inaccurate by reporting NABU dropped the company’s name from its list of suspicious entities because the bureau doesn’t compile such lists.

“It’s a question of our honor to give answers to these manipulations and maybe erroneous conclusions,” Sytnyk said Tuesday in a video statement. “We’re ready to provide all documents.”

The State Security Service said it’s been investigating an employee over the allegations for some time and that the person’s case has reached court. Prosecutors and the State Fiscal Service didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Updates with NABU head in fifth, sixth paragraphs.)

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